There’s a lot of talk recently about the pharmacy transformation. More than a fleeting phenomenon, the concept of pharmacies as a central hub for comprehensive education and care delivery (not just transactions) is becoming the norm. Nationwide, pharmacies are rapidly returning to their roots as a center for care decisions and treatment, as well as, prescription and OTC medication pickup.
Pharmacists are now providing more counseling, and delivering more care services, while pharmacy owners are reconfiguring their businesses to include a wider range of clinical services. Consider these stats: the average American lives within just two miles of a community pharmacy and over 275 million visit a pharmacy each week. According to the American Pharmacists Association, more than 300,000 pharmacists hold vaccine administration certificates from its pharmacy-based immunization delivery program. Pharmacies administer 27 million flu shots annually!
These pharmacies are increasingly becoming a destination for healthcare with many offering on-site vaccinations and frequently hosting wellness events and health screenings.
Transforming from Pharmacy Only to a New Healthcare Hub
Over the past 10+ years retail pharmacies have committed, from the top-down, to make patient visits more positive. Stores are more inviting than they’ve ever been. Pharmacists are being encouraged to move to the floor and engage more with patients.
Here’s a look at pharmacy services beyond the cash register:
- Screenings: Biometric screenings give pharmacists the chance to do first-line interpretations of blood work and refer patients to clinicians for further evaluation.
- Medication Therapy Management (MTM): 34,000 pharmacies submitted an MTM claim in 2015 and well over 50,000 pharmacy professionals worked on MTM.
- Take-One Materials and Educational Services: Solutions at the Shelf™ offer increasingly sophisticated and informative education. An interesting note: diabetes education is a significant growth area in particular.
- Medication Synchronization Programs: Sync programs help patients on multiple drugs get convenient same-day pickup for all of their prescriptions.
- Immunization Delivery: Hundreds of thousands of pharmacists are certified to administer a growing range of vaccinations.
- Chronic Care Delivery: Pharmacists are coordinating treatment of multiple chronic conditions, taking the patient’s physical, mental, environmental, and other characteristics into account.
- Apps: Helping prepare patients to be more assertive and informed about their health-care decisions.
As pharmaceutical brands are working in close concert to this “health care hub” transformation as well, they can bring education, engagement, and adherence messages directly to the pharmacy — where patients are not only visiting frequently, but also making informed care decisions.
Pharmaceutical brands can put in-depth, high-quality information patients might otherwise only see in a provider office directly on the pharmacy shelf. That fits in perfectly with pharmacy’s goal to deliver more consultations and start more conversations…and there is nowhere better to find patients in the right mindset.
The Mindset Moment®Consumers in a pharmacy are motivated to take action. They’re searching for solutions and focused on their personal healthcare issues. This stage of their journey to health and wellness is what we call, the Mindset Moment® ‑ i.e., the moment in time when people are thinking about their own health, searching for solutions, and receptive to receiving information.
They may be thinking about the unexpected duration of a symptom, or looking for a root cause for a condition. They could be thinking about genetic predispositions, or suddenly reminded of a previous media exposure or a doctor’s advice. It’s the instant when personal experience, media engagement, and clinical advice come together and create opportunities to change the course of care — and these Mindset Moments® happen repeatedly.
Consumers are in the moment when…
- Coming in for self-care needs
- Consulting with a pharmacist about drug options
- Considering supplements for side effect relief
- Concerned about enhancing their overall health
The Mindset Moment® is a great time to reach potential patients and drive engagement.
Driving Patient Engagement with Savvy Consumers
Very rarely do people come into a pharmacy when they don’t want more information about their healthcare options. The pharmacy is an effective, efficient place to deliver that education.
Today’s patients are increasingly savvy and engaged in their own health. Our patient communities are not only more educated these days, but they also have more information at their fingertips, points out PharmaVoice in an October 2017 article. They are connecting on social media networks, tracking their health data through apps and wearables, and searching for information about drugs being developed. According to PwC, 37% of consumers have sought healthcare information on social media networks.
But, an anti-social media sea change may be on the rise reports marketing automation company Marketo. “There seems to be a quiet revolution starting—some people are being more selective about what they share. Instead of Instagramming every meal, they’re opting to keep precious moments private. And there’s a valuable lesson for brands in this trend.”
When people disengage from social, even if only for a little while, they will demand more from the experiences they’re having in-person, so the key to winning over customers is going to be to provide a world-class experience wherever they happen to find you.
So how do we harness and develop that engagement when people are in the pharmacy? Here’s one of our favorite ideas.
Rx EDGE® Media Display
Instead of subjecting consumers to a barrage of unnecessary ads, approaches presented by our media display are designed to complement the moment. They encourage individuals to self-assess conditions and symptoms and start conversations with their pharmacist or another healthcare provider. Rx EDGE Media Displays drive multi-channel interactions and instructions to download apps, head to landing pages, etc. — which socially savvy consumers love.
Developing the right campaigns for in-pharmacy messaging is a strategic decision. It is often part of a comprehensive, multi-channel approach that reinforces the messages and images seen in other direct-to-consumer channels. But by speaking authentically, you can start joining natural, goal-oriented conversations already happening in today’s pharmacies.
Kathleen Bonetti, our Executive Vice President of Marketing describes seeing these goal-oriented conversations in her post “No Post Holiday Lull for Pharmacies.”
Pharmacies are just as busy as ever these days, especially as cold and flu seasons take hold, school starts again with kids getting exposed to various illnesses, New Year’s resolutions drive people to smoking cessation and weight control remedies, etc. Of course, much of their business is driven by consumer need for not only health items, but for necessities as well, but because they are quick and accessible, pharmacies have become a convenient source for daily essentials of all kinds.
Given the busy nature of pharmacies and the level of shopper traffic where a lot of people are having those Mindset Moments®… what better place is there to reach and educate prospective patients?
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